Posts for: October, 2015
When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.
"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."
As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.
For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.
If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.
If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”
Our bodies are constantly changing as we age. Although the most rapid development occurs during childhood and adolescence, our bones, soft tissue and bodily systems will continue to change, even as we enter old age.
That includes our mouth and facial structures. Over time change will result in a flatter facial profile: this will cause the nose to gain more prominence as the lower part of our face becomes shorter. The extent of our lip movement can also change with time, resulting in less of our teeth appearing when we smile. The teeth themselves will also wear, which can make them appear shorter.
These and other aging consequences should be taken into account in our dental care. We should consider their impact on the health and function of our teeth (the therapeutic aspect) and our appearance (the cosmetic aspect). Rather than less attention, the effects of aging often require a multi-layered approach to care. The foundation for this care, of course, isn’t laid when we reach our middle or later years, but with the regular and special treatments we receive when we’re young.
For example, the best time to address teeth alignment and bite is usually during early adolescence. Orthodontic treatment will certainly improve dental function and smile appearance in the short term; but improving the bite can also have implications later in life. By anticipating how the soft tissue and bone structure within the face and jaws will continue to develop, we can better determine the final teeth position we wish to achieve. This creates satisfying results in the present and a more stable platform for oral health in the future.
We can apply the same approach to other areas, like the position of the lower jaw. Using orthognathic surgery to reposition it will benefit jaw development throughout adulthood. Making these improvements can diminish the effects of aging later in life.
In essence, dental care is a life-long endeavor that begins when we’re very young and continues into our senior years. Properly caring for your teeth at any age is the key to enjoying good oral health for your entire life.
If you would like more information on the effects of aging on dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
The popular media flashes pictures of celebrities with perfect smiles--white and even as can be. Don't think that everyone is born with those straight smiles. Cosmetic dentistry helps thousands of people each year achieve the healthy, attractive set of teeth they've always desired.
At Williamsburg Family Dentistry, doctors Ricky Rubin and Brett C. Dunnill offer a wide range of preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services, including the popular Invisalign clear aligners. Invisalign provides teens and adults with mild to moderate orthodontic issues a fast, comfortable and practically invisible method of getting attractive, functional smiles without the discomfort or embarrassment of wearing traditional braces.
Instead of metal brackets and wires, Invisalign features BPA-free, clear aligners which resemble professional teeth whitening trays. Custom-made to fit tightly over top and bottom teeth, the aligners gently move teeth into better positions, treating conditions such as:
- tooth rotation
- over bite
- under bite
- open bite
- cross bite
Could Invisalign Work for You?
Invisalign providers such as Dr.sRubin and Dunnill carefully evaluate their orthodontic patients. Using digital, 3-D scans, the dentist assesses teeth and gums for bite, gaps and other problems that compromise smile aesthetics, function and health. If appropriate, he formulates a treatment plan and sends his instructions to the Invisalign lab.
Typically, patients wear several sets of aligners over the course of their treatments. Aligners stay in place 20 to 22 hours per day. Treatments average 12 months but may last anywhere from 9 to 18 months--shorter times than correction with metal braces. Patients visit Williamsburg Family Dentistry every 4 to 6 weeks to get new aligners and to receive a quick progress check.
Caring for Aligners
Aligners move teeth gently and comfortably by fractions of an inch at a time. Patients report little to no discomfort with movement and enjoy the aligners' unobtrusive appearance. Additionally, individuals remove aligners to eat, brush and floss and for special occasions such as weddings, proms and job interviews. While patients who wear wire and bracket braces restrict their diets (no hard or sticky foods), Invisalign patients eat all the healthy foods they enjoy.
Even if a patient is well-qualified to wear Invisalign appliances, the treatment goes awry when he or she does not wear the aligners for the right amount of time each day. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, compliance is paramount to success. To encourage this, Williamsburg, VA dentists arrange for colored tabs built into the aligners. Wear patterns on the tabs tell patients and dentists if the aligners are worn according to the treatment plan.
Are you ready for a quick, comfortable and invisible way to a new, straight smile? Then, contact your Williamsburg, VA dentists Ricky Rubin DMD MPA and Brett C. Dunnill DDS for more information. They will gladly explain the treatment process and evaluate your teeth and gums. Look forward to a great smile! Call for an appointment at Williamsburg Family Dentistry: (757) 345-5500.